The Paua Palace

My royal blog, life, opinions and me, it’s all about ME.. Right?

Will adverts prevent child abuse?

Posted by pauaprincess on August 30, 2007

Over a decade ago, there were ads on TV that ended with the phrase, “Never Shake a Baby” spoken by a gentleman with a rather somber voice. Being a person with a somewhat dark sense of humour and not finding the ads at all constructive(well duh I know not to shake a baby), when the Princeling was a toddler his favorite game was never shake a baby. I’d jiggle him and say “never shake a baby”! in the same kind of tone I use to get the dog to bark asking “who’s there?” The Princeling thought it was hilarious, he’d giggle his head off and when he stopped, I’d do it again!

In the wake of the Kahui Twins case, it’s been suggested that those ads return to our screens. I can’t see the point. Putting ads on tv that tell you not to shake a baby and why are not going to stop child abuse.

All I’ve heard in the last few weeks is that these offenders need more support and instruction on how to care for infants and children. Child abuse is violence against children, it’s about power and selfishness.

Take the Kahui case. Chris Kahui is currently awaiting trial for the murder of the twins, killed it’s alleged by shaking injuries. Those babies didn’t die because Chris and his whanau didn’t know not to shake babies. They died because they cried, they died because they had needs that those around them were too selfish to fulfil. Their mother Macsyne King left them in their fathers care, along with an older brother because she needed a break, what she actually wanted to do was go out partying like she didn’t have 3 children in her care. She wouldn’t come home when sent for and wouldn’t come to the phone. She might not be standing trial, but she is more guilty than Chris Kahui in my opinion.

I’ve had two children, I know how hard it is to live with broken sleep, to be constantly feeding, changing, burping and rocking a child. I felt as though this tiny entity was in control of my life. Sometimes I resented being dragged from a sound sleep, ok often I resented it. I was bone weary, felt fat and unattractive and my life was no longer my own, but I didn’t kill my babies.

In fact most of us go through the same and worse and we don’t kill our babies.

Putting ads on tv, is like legislating against spanking. It’s a band aid, a public way to show something is being done when it isn’t. Putting ads on tv isn’t proactive, it’s pandering. If ads are going to go on tv, how about putting something realistic out there, like:

If you abuse your child, we’ll convict you and put you in jail with these guys, then show the resulting beating of the offender by prisoners who oddly, hate child killers.

If you kill a child, you’ll be living with a life sentence, even after you get out of jail, nobody will forget

It worked for drink driving to show the realistic effects.


5 Responses to “Will adverts prevent child abuse?”

  1. Kristin said

    You are absolutely correct about the TV ads. We all know not to shake a baby. I love the idea about putting up follow stories that the convicted experience in prison by other inmates who hate child abusers. Heck, maybe the prison system could do a show like cops and make some money to help pay for the prison system.

    Anyway, I really liked your blog. May I have your permission to post and list you as the author on my blog?

    You can email me at: and let me know. Thanks for your time.

  2. Just as a point of clarification, no one sets out to “shake a baby”, but the major frustrations of sleepless nights, feeding schedules, changes in homelife as well as the known period of what is called “Purple Crying” where the infant will cry for up to 5 or 6 hours out of the day, results in shaking.

    The whole concept of “Never Shake A Baby” stems from having a plan about what you are going to do when those frustrations hit and recognizing that you need to put the baby in a safe place and walk away. Kierra’s Nana Pam

  3. Jennipher said

    Actually, up to an estimated 50% of people don’t know that it’s never okay to shake a baby. There was a study done in New York state that found instances of SBS were reduced by 47% in hospitals that had SBS education programs implemented for new parents. Since parents are the perpetrators 50% of the time, the effectiveness of these programs is obviously quite high.

    I think television ads that say “never shake a baby” are not only necessary, they should be required. While you may have the common sense to know shaking a baby is not okay, many people don’t. Most of the perpetrators of SBS are historically not violent people – they are simply tired, frustrated caregivers who are trying to get the baby to stop crying.

    I’m not standing up for people who shake babies by ANY means – if it was up to me, these people would be drawn and quartered for so destroying an innocent baby’s life. But prevention works, and if even one tiny life can be saved by someone seeing a “never shake a baby” ad, then it’s more than worth the rest of us having to watch them.

    That’s my two cents.

  4. Hey I don’t mind watching them, I just doubt they will reduce child abuse. We all get tired and frustrated, I have had a baby cry for 5 hours for no apparent reason. I have a friend who had a baby with reflux who would only stop screaming if he was held face down with his head cupped in her hand for the better part of the day. Sleep deprived and frustrated beyond all doubt we still knew better than to shake an infant and it wasn’t because of ads.

  5. Idetrorce said

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

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